20th Anniversary Motul Petit Le Mans
The 20th Anniversary Motul Petit Le Mans
Braselton Georgia is full of surprises. From a French Chateau and vineyard to a storied past complete with a Guinness book world record … it’s an interesting place. In addition to wonders and oddities, Braselton is also a mecca for international motorsports. Road Atlanta, a historic motorsports venue, flanks Winder Highway and hosts the largest annual sporting event in the state of Georgia.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of their homage event, The Motul Petit Le Mans. Though originally developed as a tribute to the iconic 24-hour Le Mans endurance race held in France, Road Atlanta’s petit 10-hour version of the race has taken on a life of its own and is now one of the premier motorsports events in the world. This race alone brings enthusiasts from 33 states and 18 countries to Braselton each fall!
The 20th Anniversary Motul Petit Le Mans will serve as the season finale for both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup. The race will finish under the stars and will feature the fastest and strongest that Corvette, Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes, Lexus, Acura, BMW, Ford and more have to offer. Notable drivers from around the globe will strap for a test of endurance of both car and driver.
“We’re high on legacy and lore,” explains Road Atlanta president, Geoff Lee. This year’s fan zone will incorporate a trip down memory lane with displays of cars both famous and infamous from yesteryear. Also in the fanzone this year will be a 90-foot Ferris Wheel situated to offer spectators amazing views of the track.
The facility is also high on value for the entertainment dollar and family-friendliness. Families who visit Road Atlanta enjoy free admission for children 12 and under as well as the cultural diversity an event like the 20th Anniversary Motul Petit Le Mans offers.
“It’s not unusual to hear multiple languages among drivers and attendees,” Lee states. Race day opening ceremonies at the Motul Petit Le Mans includes the French National Anthem as well as our own Star-Spangled Banner.
Lee explains that Road Atlanta patrons can range from the super passionate to those just trying to catch a glimpse of Dr. McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey from TV’s Grey’s Antimony is a racecar driver). Lee has witnessed marriage proposals, weddings and every conceivable incorporation of motorsports into life events during his tenure at Road Atlanta. The Motul Petit Le Mans is also a place to see and be seen. The international and star-studded quality of the event attracts everything from serious media outlets like ESPN and National News providers to tabloid photographers looking for a shot of a movie star in attendance or in the seat of a race car.
The Motul Petit Le Mans is only one of several events hosted year-round at the 750-acre facility. Road Atlanta attracts a plethora of enthusiasts throughout the year with highly diverse events. From the classic cars of motorsports at “The Mitty” to the Fast and Furious types flocking to DRIFTAtlanta along with the two-wheeled excitement of Suzuki’s MotoAmerica super bike series, there’s no shortage of high-octane entertainment! Additionally, it’s not uncommon for car or motorcycle manufacturers to rent the facility to launch new product lines, shoot commercials or even have fan-based events.
Fans of specific makes and models of cars are an interesting segment of the audience at a majority of Road Atlanta’s public events. Porsche lovers lock horns with Ferrari lovers and sideline rivalries grow intense during close races. Diehard race fans are knowledgeable about not only the cars but the drivers too.
Since the Motul Petit Le Mans has been televised in the past to more than 850 million households worldwide, the notoriety and reach of the race grows exponentially each year. Along with the race, the 2.54 mile, 12 turn track has gained world-wide acclaim. Road Atlanta’s park like setting and rolling terrain make for a thrilling race that’s enjoyable from many vantage points.
“It’s accessible in a way that other sports are not. Drivers are available and approachable” Lee explained. The appeal of Road Atlanta as a family outing goes beyond affordability. Race goers are able to be close to the action and are often able to meet and interact with drivers and crew. Lee has been a fixture at Road Atlanta for more than a decade. His affinity for the facility and for motorsports is palpable and likely stems from his own time as a driver. Road Atlanta is part of the Atlanta Sports Council as one of the short list of venues and facilities. Aside of the world-renowned status the facility has gained over the years, Lee is clearly most proud of the entertainment value that Road Atlanta offers.
Road Atlanta is the 2nd largest economic impact generator in the state. The park welcomes more than 300,000 visitors annually. Throughout the years, some of those visitors have decided to call North Georgia home.
Road Atlanta is minutes from Chateau Elan, Reunion Country Club and other luxury neighborhoods. Lee expressed that visitors often fall in love with the weather, the rolling landscape and greenery as well as the proximity to a major metropolitan city.
Super race fans or those looking for luxury properties in the Braselton or Hoschton area will enjoy a look at the homes offered by Sun Realty Group, LLC.